Use Introspection as a Tool to Fuel Growth

Many of us use the new year as a convenient time to set new goals and resolutions to better ourselves and grow, both personally and professionally. That growth means something different to everybody. There is no one size fits all approach because each of us is starting from a different position.

Have you set goals for 2022 to prioritize personal growth? Now that we’re now a couple of weeks into the new year, how are things tracking so far?

We all approach the goal-setting process differently as well. Some people are naturally more introspective than others and understand the benefits of exploring their thoughts and feelings in-depth as they determine the types of goals to set. Others may know they grow best by simply taking action and experimenting with new concepts and ideas that expand their comfort zone. No approach is absolute- there is no right or wrong.

You can leverage introspection to accelerate your personal growth no matter where you find yourself on that spectrum. In understanding yourself better, you can set goals that align better with your personality, your way of thinking, and your priorities. You can also identify the best ways for you to work towards achieving them.

Using introspection is an opportunity to gather important data points about yourself. It is not just a passive exercise. These data points equip you to be more proactive in preparation for, or in response to success, challenges, stressors, and other outcomes you’ll encounter in your professional and personal journey. As you continue to explore ways to reach your personal growth goals for this year, here are a few tips on how to leverage introspection to accelerate your efforts:

Reflect on your most influential win

Throughout your life, many events have influenced your way of life– how you plan, how you build relationships, how you manage risk, how you think about finances, etc. 

Think back and observe yourself in action by reflecting on your biggest wins and challenges in the past year. Some events and outcomes will be motivating and bring positive thoughts and emotions. Others may trigger more negative feelings. No matter the outcome, there are lessons and insights you can extract from each situation. 

Now, let’s reflect on one win that had the greatest impact on your growth last year. Use the process below to pull it apart and better understand the factors that made it a positive experience…

Examine what actually happened

Reflect on the entire experience and the active role you played in it. Determine if you accomplished your goal or made incremental progress towards it. Even though you may not have accomplished everything you set out to do, there are still valuable lessons and insights in incremental progress that you can use moving forward.

Why did you get that result?

Dig beneath the surface and try to dissect the “why” behind the end result. Understanding each step in the processes that lead to your win gives you the ability to duplicate those steps. Once you master the individual steps and components of success you can duplicate them. And you gain more control over creating the outcomes you want to achieve.

Which insights can you use to improve?

Use the insights gained from the previous step in the process to be more deliberate and intentional with your strategies to set and achieve your goals moving forward. Once you better understand these insights, you can begin using them as a guide to plan and execute your personal goals and objectives more deliberately and intentionally, while increasing your probability of success.

Rinse and repeat this process to gain better insights into other events in your life– with both positive and negative outcomes.

Marques Colston
Marques Colston

Executive Coach. Strategist. Entrepreneur.

I help growth-minded athletes, executives, and entrepreneurs achieve sustainable professional success.

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